Proposition 8, found on every Texas ballot this November, is very much related to our mission and we hope you will vote to approve it. This is one more tool that can be used by owners of undeveloped land to use land management practices aimed at protecting water resources. The two similar options currently available for undeveloped land are known as the agriculture or the wildlife management exemption. These exemptions allow owners to avoid high property tax rates if they meet standards of land use practices. This enables open space to remain open, producing value for the people of Texas. Land owners faced with enormous tax burdens might otherwise be forced to sell out. The cost of food and natural resource protection for the rest of us would increase. Protecting our water resources is clearly a value dear to Texans and that is what proposition 8 would allow. It is not expected to exempt lands that would not qualify for exemption under one of the other options so it will not cause our taxes to increase. It will mean that those lands in watersheds above sensitive water resources can be managed for maximum water quantity and quality and we believe San Marcos and every other Texan could certainly benefit from this kind of management. Please vote in favor of proposition 8. You can learn more by checking out the website Ballot Pedia at http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Texas_Water-Stewardship_Tax_Amendment,_Proposition_8_%282011%29.
By Todd Derkacz, SMGA President
More information also available at http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/texas/texas-state-legislative-priorities.xml